Pier Paolo Pasolini, (born March 5, 1922, Bologna, Italy--died Nov. 2, 1975, Ostia, near Rome), Italian motion-picture director, poet, and novelist, noted for his socially critical, stylistically unorthodox films.The son of an Italian army officer, Pasolini was educated in schools of the various cities of northern Italy where his father was successively posted. He attended the University of Bologna, studying art history and literature. Pasolini's stay of refuge among the oppressed peasantry of the Friuli region during World War II led to his later becoming a Marxist, albeit an unorthodox..
Mike Leigh, (born February 20, 1943, Salford, Lancashire, England), British writer and director of film and theatre, known for his finely honed depictions of quotidian lives and for his improvisational rehearsal style.Leigh studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London in the early 1960s, but his interest in writing and directing led him to switch schools several times, and he ultimately graduated from the London School of Film Technique (now London Film School) in 1965. About that time he began developing a method for creating narratives that relied on actors' improvisations..
John Sayles, in full John Thomas Sayles, (born September 28, 1950, Schenectady, New York, U.S.), American motion-picture director, screenwriter, novelist, and actor who since the 1980s has been among the most prominent independent filmmakers in the United States. Parlaying his fees as a screenwriter of mainstream Hollywood films into funding for his own ambitious filmmaking projects, Sayles created an oeuvre in which the personal and the political intersect at the heart of the American experience.The child of educators, Sayles earned a B.A. in psychology from Williams College (1972),..
Joshua Logan, in full Joshua Lockwood Logan III, (born October 5, 1908, Texarkana, Texas, U.S.--died July 12, 1988, New York, New York), American stage and motion-picture director, producer, and writer. Best known as the stage director who brought to Broadway such classics as Charley's Aunt (1940), Annie Get Your Gun (1946), Mister Roberts (1948), South Pacific (1949), and Fanny (1954)--the last three of which he coauthored--Logan also carved out a small but significant place for himself in Hollywood during the 1950s and '60s.Early workLogan attended but did not graduate from Princeton..
Jean Cocteau, (born July 5, 1889, Maisons-Laffitte, near Paris, France--died October 11, 1963, Milly-la-Foret, near Paris), French poet, librettist, novelist, actor, film director, and painter. Some of his most important works include the poem L'Ange Heurtebise (1925; "The Angel Heurtebise"); the play Orphee (1926; Orpheus); the novels Les Enfants terribles (1929; "The Incorrigible Children"; Eng. trans. Children of the Game or The Holy Terrors) and La Machine infernale (1934; The Infernal Machine); and his surrealistic motion pictures Le Sang d'un poete (1930; The Blood of a Poet)..
Francois Truffaut, (born February 6, 1932, Paris, France--died October 21, 1984, Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris), French film critic, director, and producer whose attacks on established filmmaking techniques paved the way for the movement known as the Nouvelle Vague (New Wave).Early worksTruffaut was born into a working-class home. His own troubled childhood provided the inspiration for Les Quatre Cents Coups (1959; The 400 Blows), a semiautobiographical study of a working-class delinquent. It is the first of the Antoine Doinel trilogy, tracing its hero's evolution from an antisocial..
Woody Allen, original name Allen Stewart Konigsberg, legal name Heywood Allen, (born December 1, 1935, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.), American motion-picture director, screenwriter, actor, comedian, playwright, and author, best known for his bittersweet comic films containing elements of parody, slapstick, and the absurd but who also made weighty dramas, often with dark themes and bleak landscapes reminiscent of the work of Swedish director Ingmar Bergman—who, perhaps more than any other filmmaker, influenced Allen’s work. Allen was also known as a sympathetic director for women, writing..
Vincente Minnelli, original name Lester Anthony Minnelli, (born February 28, 1903, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.—died July 25, 1986, Los Angeles, California), American motion-picture director who infused a new sophistication and vitality into filmed musicals in the 1940s and ’50s.Early life and workHe was born to Italian-born musician Vincent Minnelli and French Canadian singer Mina Le Beau and given the less exotic name of Lester Anthony Minnelli; later in life he took his father’s name, restoring it to its Italian form. The Minnelli Brothers Mighty Dramatic Company Under Canvas traveled..
Sacha Guitry, original name Alexandre-Georges Guitry, (born February 21, 1885, St. Petersburg, Russia--died July 24, 1957, Paris, France), prodigious French playwright, director, and screenwriter who often acted in his own productionsSacha, the son of the actor Lucien Guitry, achieved his first theatrical success with Nono (1905). This was followed by Chez les Zoaques (1906), Petite Hollande (1908), Le Scandale de Monte Carlo (1908), Le Veilleur de nuit (1911)--one of his best plays--and Un Beau Mariage (1911). It is difficult to draw an absolute distinction between his work as an actor..
Christopher Nolan, Irish author (born Sept. 6, 1965, Mullingar, Ire.--died Feb. 20, 2009, Dublin, Ire.), suffered severe brain damage at birth that left him speechless and paralyzed with cerebral palsy, yet he nevertheless earned recognition as a gifted writer at an early age and at age 21 won the prestigious Whitbread Book of the Year award for Under the Eye of the Clock (1987). This autobiographical novel, written in the third person, tells the story of Joseph Meehan, whose life closely resembles Nolan's. His vivid memoir is never bitter, though it recounts some of the more traumatic moments..
John Ford, (baptized April 17, 1586, Ilsington, Devon, Eng.--died 1639?), English dramatist of the Caroline period, whose revenge tragedies are characterized by certain scenes of austere beauty, insight into human passions, and poetic diction of a high order.In 1602 Ford was admitted to the Middle Temple (a training college for lawyers), and he remained there, except for a period of suspension (1606-08), until at least 1617 and possibly much later still. He published an elegy on the Earl of Devonshire and a prose pamphlet in 1606, and a few other minor nondramatic works have been attributed..